Former Bafana Bafana Coach Clive Barker Passes Away at 78
Legendary former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker passed away at the age of 78 on Saturday. Barker was renowned for his significant contributions to South African football, notably leading the national team to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996. However, in March of this year, Barker’s family revealed that he had been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), a condition that he valiantly battled until his passing.
Farewell to a Sporting Icon
In a statement released by his family, they expressed their profound sadness at the loss of Clive Barker. They shared, “It is with profound sadness that the family of former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker announce his passing on Saturday, 10 June after a brave battle with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).” The family expressed gratitude to the medical professionals who provided care for Barker over the past six months and acknowledged his courage throughout his journey. They also requested privacy during this challenging time.
A Nation United: 1996 Africa Cup of Nations Victory
South Africans will forever remember Clive Barker for his instrumental role in the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, which took place on home soil. The tournament marked a pivotal moment in the nation’s history, as Barker’s coaching expertise brought the country together through the sport they cherished. His legacy extends beyond his achievements on the field, as he touched the lives of many footballers and individuals who had the privilege of crossing paths with him.
A Life Dedicated to Football
Clive Barker’s coaching career spanned an impressive 42 years, during which he mentored various teams, including AmaZulu, Manning Rangers, Durban City, Durban Bush Bucks, Santos Cape Town, Wits, and Maritzburg United. His coaching prowess led Durban City to back-to-back league titles in 1982 and 1983, and he guided Durban Bush Bucks to victory in 1985. Barker’s contributions also extended to the international stage, as he guided South Africa to their first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in France in 1998.
Celebrating Clive Barker’s Legacy
As South Africa mourns the loss of a sporting icon, Clive Barker’s impact will be forever remembered. His dedication, passion, and love for the game of football resonated with generations of players and fans alike. In the coming days, details regarding a memorial service for Barker will be provided. The overwhelming outpouring of love and support since his LBD diagnosis serves as a testament to the significant influence he had on the lives of those he encountered. Clive Barker will be dearly missed, not only as a legendary coach but also as a loving husband, father, and grandfather.
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